Hiawatha Municipal Court – Hiawatha, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Hiawatha Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hiawatha Municipal Court
Address: “413 Oregon Street, Hiawatha, KS 66434”
Phone: 785-742-2156

City: Hiawatha
County: Brown
State: Kansas

What is the role of the Hiawatha Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Hiawatha Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hiawatha, Kansas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Hiawatha?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Hiawatha, KS

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Hiawatha Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1,000.00 or one year in local jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Hiawatha Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Hiawatha Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hiawatha, Kansas?

In Kansas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Hiawatha, Kansas?

Depending on the scope of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Hiawatha Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.